Saturday, July 7, 2012

4th of July Metric Century Ride

After giving up running for the month of July, it became one of my goals to get more into cycling.  Running is easy to get into - get a decent pair of shoes, the correct clothing and start running.  If you have to stop and walk, do so.  However, cycling is so different and it makes me nervous.

I consider myself to be a novice cyclist at best.  I know how to get on my road bike and pedal and break.  Anything else, I don't have a clue.  Changing a tire?  Putting air in my tires?  Correct riding position?  I don't have a clue.  I'm hoping to learn how to do these things soon.

Last year I did the Tour de Cure Metric Century ride the day following Ragnar.  It was nice and easy.  My training up to it was one 50-mile bike ride.  That seems like such good training compared to my training this year before the metric century.  Prior to the ride, I had been on my road bike one time this year for a total of 20 miles (about two weeks ago).  Who decides to sign up for a 62 mile bike ride without any training whatsoever?  Me.

The ride had multiple options - 30, 45, or 62 mile routes.  There were many people from my running club riding, including one of my friends that I consistently train with.  We decided that we wanted to do the 62 mile ride, but would evaluate it at the first rest stop because of the weather.  We ended up doing the entire thing, which made me very proud.  By the end, I was ready to get off of my bike and out of the 103* weather.  It was a good experience and I learned some valuable pieces of information in the process:

  1. Next time, it would be best to get in a few training rides before a ride that long.  
  2. I now know that my bike tires need 125 (something) of air in them.
  3. Biking and running have completely different impacts on my blood sugars.  In cycling, I tend to stay low for a long period of time.  It took a lot of effort to get my blood sugar to be 100 and not 60.  I also had to stop 2 additional times to check my blood sugar and eat something while riding, in addition to the three rest stops on the course.
  4. At one point, three miles from the end, I could feel my blood sugar going down...and fast.  It is not fun to be on a road bike and experience that feeling.  Luckily, I was able to get off my bike and eat something and hang out with my friends before finishing.  
  5. I need to get a cycling jersey that has pockets in the back or on the side.  I own one, but I hate how it fits so I never wear it.  Plus, it is from the Tour de Cure and has Red Rider on it and I don't like advertising my disease.  I decided to wear a running tank top instead, and although it worked out okay, it would be best to have the pockets to put GU or shot bloks in instead of keeping them in my carrier under the bike seat.
  6. Finally, I'd really like to thank the person who invented bike shorts that have padding in them.  If I was not wearing my shorts, there would have been no way I could have done the ride.
I'm currently looking for more bike rides to sign up for.  There is a 100 mile ride that seems really interesting in the northern Chicago suburbs.  If you live in Chicagoland, are you signed up for anything?  

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